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Going the Extra Green Mile

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Worse thing about missing the cut at Quail Hollow ' after, of course, the inevitable cash flow issues that follow a week without a paycheck ' is not being around for what is shaping up to be an epic weekend with the world Nos. 1 and 2 on an apparent collision course.
Made Cut
  • Quail Hollow Championship: Nowhere in the original Rules of Golf was it written that the game had to resemble child birth and its refreshing to see the scoring pendulum firmly swing back into red numbers.
    Tiger Woods tied the front-nine scoring record on Thursday, 69 players finished Round 1 under par and the top of the board looked like the stuff of marketing fantasy, with Woods and Phil Mickelson sitting first and tied for second, respectively.
    Good fortune only goes so far, and Quail Hollow officials dialed down the course for this years event, clipping the rough at 2 inches, in an attempt to liven up the festivities Augusta National style.
    We dont mind letting them go 12, 14 under, said tournament director Kym Hougham. We want some fun for our fans and the players.
    Done and done.
  • Nationwide Tour: The LPGAs decision to play last week in Mexico is a debate for another day, but Nationwide Tour officials deserve an attaboy for acting quickly and wisely to temporarily pull the plug on the Mexico Open.
    It often seems as if the Tour cant win with so many competing interest (see World Golf Championship item below), but postponing the event early was best for everyone involved and showed a refreshing level of concern for the players and the people who stage the event.
    A significant number of lives have been lost in Mexico, which is tragic. There are more important things for people to focus on at the moment, Nationwide Tour president Bill Calfee said in a statement.
    Missed Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
  • WGC-HSBC TGIF LOL Champions: Or maybe they can shorten it to the Buy-A-Vowel Open. In one corner, we applaud the Tour for putting the world back in the World Golf Championships ' seems the Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., atlas only included a map of the Lower 48 ' but are flummoxed by an event that doesnt offer official money or a Masters invite.
    Call it a WGC Lite and, to be brutally honest, the entire affair falls under the wrong execution of the right idea flag.
    The $7 million event will be played in Shanghai, China, Nov. 5-8, the fourth WGC and the only world event not played in the United States. And while Tiger Woods and defending champion Sergio Garcia have said they will play the event, news that a HSBC win will not be considered an official Tour victory (read: no two-year exemption) and earnings wont count toward a players yearly haul has caused a metaphorical double take from players and pundits.
    Wow, that's weird, a bewildered Anthony Kim said of all the small print that accompanied this weeks announcement.
    With the HSBC played so late in the season, a week before the Tours final stop at Disney, officials are concerned that such a large payout could up end the money list, but the middle ground officials are trying to walk is too murky.
    Asterisks are for baseball records and insurance contracts, not World Golf Championships.
  • One-in-Four Rule: The concept crops up a bit more regularly as bullish markets turn bear and corporate sponsorships thin like the Quail Hollow rough, but the curse of the independent contractor gained t traction last week when Stewart Cink, a much louder voice than most because of his position on the Tours Policy Board, called the one-in-four concept a pretty popular proposal right now thats circulating around the players and staff.
    Cink went on to couch his comments and, as is always the case with these types of affronts to independent contractors everywhere, the devil is in the details.
    One longtime Tour observer said the plan that is currently being circulated around the practice ground is to exclude the top five money winners from the requirement.
    Lets get this straight, the only way a one-in-four rule works is with Woods blessing and the only way to get his blessing is to exclude him from it. And they say fixing the economy is hard.

    Missed Cut
  • Creativity:It seems originality took a vacation a few years back when tournaments started doling out jackets to go along with those oversized checks.
    According to a recent Tour release, Augusta National was the first to award its champion a jacket in 1949. Good stuff, everybody likes green. But in the years that followed seven more events have made the jacket a champions staple, including three different shades of blue (Quail Hollow, light blue; Arnold Palmer Invitational, dark blue; FBR Open, just plain blue), a Seersucker (Memphis) and two Tartans (Heritage and Colonial).
    May we suggest a houndstooth coat for the winner of the LPGAs Kraft Nabisco Championship, a pea coat for whoever weathers the Crosby weather at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and a straitjacket for the last man standing the next time the U.S. Open is played at Shinnecock.
  • British Media: This is a bit of a 180 degree turn from our take on a similar issue last year, but the victory wasnt 24 hours old and the championship still some three months away and the U.K. press was already carving up Zurich Classic winner Jerry Kelly for saying he would skip this years British Open to play the Tours Milwaukee tournament.
    Full disclosure: the Open Championship ranks first in the Cut Line Grand Slam power ranking. The history, the quirky venues, everything except for the food works. But Kelly is not Kenny Perry, who ducked three of the four majors last year on his way to Valhalla glory, and Milwaukee is more than just an opposite-field event.
    The U.S. Bank isnt Kellys fifth major, it is his second or third, if not his first. The man bleeds Wisconsin red, has never won the Milwaukee stop and is loyal like a Packers fan.
    The British press may not understand Kellys motivation, and he never asked them to try.

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